Mar 23, 2012, 6:04 PM EDT
Mark Gottfried really can’t lose tonight. Even if N.C. State’s NCAA tournament run ends in the Sweet 16 tonight, there’s no doubt he’s fully and completely embraced by his players, Wolfpack fans and his boss, athletic director Debbie Yow.
The regular season had some ups and downs – State is 24-12 and didn’t beat UNC or Duke – but last week’s wins against San Diego State and Georgetown showcased a team that’s peaking and playing together perfectly.
That’s a credit to Gottfried.
“He’s a survivor,” Yow told the Fayetteville Observer. “He balances that voice of experience with this youthful energy and enthusiasm that nothing is impossible. He puts those two traits together, you get a pretty special person and a very special coach. He’s a leader; you can see that the players follow him. They trust him.”
How’d he do it?
“It’s my job to convince my team that we are good enough,” Gottfried told the paper. “We have to become good enough. It’s not smoke and mirrors. It’s not something you can just talk about. We have to get better, and we did get better.”
Friday night’s game against 2-seed Kansas could end that run. The Wolfpack are 8.5-point underdogs. But the future’s bright when you’ve got a coach in hand that starts like this.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
- Fixing his flaws: How Kris Dunn has attacked the two weaknesses in his game 0
- Five-star shooting guard focusing on ten schools 0
- Isaac Humphries is Kentucky’s insurance policy inside, but should that be concerning? 2
- Source: Isaac Humphries expected to commit to Kentucky, enroll in 2015 1
- Steady improvement turning Alize Johnson into valued Division I prospect 0
- Report: SMU’s Larry Brown up against ‘lack of coach control’ charge 1
- If the NCAA is correct, Donnie Tyndall is in big, big trouble 2
- Bruce Pearl on his time at Tennessee: ‘I ran a clean program’ (3)
- Another Division I coach loses their job in the wake of the Donnie Tyndall scandal (3)
- If the NCAA is correct, Donnie Tyndall is in big, big trouble (2)
- Marquette coaches discuss daily ‘noon ball’ tradition (VIDEO) (2)
- Isaac Humphries is Kentucky’s insurance policy inside, but should that be concerning? (2)